Contact: Sarah Abel, 202-225-5506, [email protected]
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and John Thune (R-SD) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter urging the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue new clarifications that would ensure more farmers and ranchers are eligible for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Many farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers were falling through the cracks in the Paycheck Protection Program when it was first created by the SBA last year. That’s why Rep. Kind introduced bipartisan legislation over the summer to increase the amount of small and struggling farmers eligible to receive a loan from the PPP by allowing them to use gross income to calculate their loan award. This legislation was passed as part of the recent COVID-19 relief package after Rep. Kind fought hard to make sure it was included.
However, many farmers and ranchers are organized as partnerships or limited liability companies, which are taxed differently than other farm and ranch entities. These agricultural producers have been unable to apply for loans under the new calculation because of the SBA’s interpretation of eligibility for partnerships or limited liability companies.
“Wisconsin family farmers are the bedrock of our local and rural economies. That’s why I’ve worked across the aisle and fought for bipartisan legislation to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program for our family farms,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Unfortunately, far too many farmers have still been left behind. These hardworking producers should not be shut out of the PPP. I am calling on the Small Business Administration to right these wrongs by issuing clear guidance for the eligibility of family farms structured as partnerships or limited liability companies. We owe our Wisconsin farmers a great deal of gratitude for their resilience and dedication during the COVID-19 crisis. Now is not the time to be limiting relief to these essential businesses.”
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Rep. Kind has continuously advocated for our family farmers. In April 2020, Rep. Kind led a bipartisan letter urging the SBA to provide more flexibility and alternate eligibility requirements for farmers unable to enroll in the PPP. Additionally, he released his Family Farm Rescue Plan, which focused on five concrete steps that the former Administration could have taken to support family farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring farmers are eligible for all small business relief programs like the PPP.